Web3 Antivirus Launches To ‘Save Billions’ In Crypto And Smart Contract Fraud

It’s the worst thing about web3.

You visit a website, service, community, or game, hoping to check it out and maybe join. But before you even walk in the door, the service asks you to connect a crypto wallet like MetaMask. It’s the digital equivalent of being able to shop in a store only after giving the store owner all your bank details. It feels backward, unnecessary, and dangerous.

There is also a strong brake on web3 reception.

“Crypto worth $2.7 billion lost by 2022 due to hacking of smart contracts or protocol infrastructure,” Delphi Digital, a “grade school” research firm recently reported. in a tweet. “This represents a 63% increase compared to last year.”

What can you do?

Serial entrepreneur Alexei Dulub thinks he has the answer: web3 “antivirus”. Years of building blockchain and testing smart contract solutions for clients with his outsourced software development firm PixelPlex taught him that web3 is full of flaws. Those flaws can be exploited by hackers, or clever technologists who find ways to use smart contracts in ways their creators didn’t intend. Poorly written smart contracts have resulted in millions being locked away from both creators and customers, or millions simply being stolen.

Mistakes are one thing. Somewhat worse are smart contracts written to steal your cryptocurrency, NFTs, or other digital artifacts of value. And because we’ve been trained not to read the fine print in EULAs (end-user license agreements) and probably can’t read the code in smart contracts, we’re ready to get scammed.

“Do you know what you’re signing with Metamask?” Dulub asked me.

The short answer, for me, is no.

This is where Web3 Antivirus comes in. Installed as a Chrome plugin, Web3 Antivirus kicks in when you’re about to sign a transaction, then pauses the transaction and scans for malware. Having a website on what the company says is “thousands” of block lists alone, as code that requests access to all of your crypto, or hard-coded commands is therefore likely to only favor the smart contract writer.

After analyzing the smart contract, Web3 Antivirus then gives you an overview of potential risks, and allows you to make what Dulub describes as an informed decision about whether to proceed or not.

“The plugin also protects users from visiting phishing websites: it checks domain names against thousands of blacklists, identifies suspicious logic with its proprietary ML models, and warns users if a website is unsafe,” said Dulub.

Most importantly, according to the company, Web3 Antivirus does not ask for access to your wallet, your digital assets, or the seed phrases (long crypto-style passwords) that protect your cryptocurrency.

It’s worth noting that the Chrome plugin, however, needs access to “read and modify all your data across all websites,” and manage your apps, extensions, and themes. This is necessary to do your job, but in theory, in the wrong hands this is a security risk.

While I said this Dulub said that is one of the reasons why the Web3 Antivirus tool is open source – anyone can view its code on GitHub – in fact it shows that the company has nothing to hide.

“The main goal of the solution is to help the web3 community save billions of dollars by making the ledger ecosystem a safe place to collaborate and work in, which will benefit all stakeholders in the long run,” he added. “You don’t have to trust us, but at least you go into more detail.”

One thing that is still unclear: making money.

I asked Dulub how he plans to monetize Web3 Antivirus.

“Many ways,” he replied. “B2C [business to consumer] premium subscription for more information and financial risk assessment, B2B [business to business] SaaS models are pay-per-request, and interactive: while interacting with the protocol the user may be informed of other available options.”

“One example: when buying a token on OpenSea, users may get a message that there is a way to save on fees by using Sudoswap, Blur, or X2Y2 instead.”

The plugin is brand new, just published. According to the Chrome Web Store, it has less than 100 users so far. However, it definitely meets a need in the market: the ability to get a reliable third-party guarantee that the smart contract you’re about to sign won’t wipe out all of your Ethereum. So if it seems to be successful, there is certainly an opportunity for significant growth.

And it would be nice to know with some level of confidence that exchanging crypto, buying NFT, joining a DAO, or playing a web3 game is safe.


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